6.6/10
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136 user 88 critic

Burnt Offerings (1976)

A family moves into an old, haunted house that regenerates itself by feeding off of the life forces of its injured occupants.

Director:

Dan Curtis

Writers:

Robert Marasco (novel), William F. Nolan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Karen Black ... Marian Rolf
Oliver Reed ... Ben Rolf
Burgess Meredith ... Arnold Allardyce
Eileen Heckart ... Roz Allardyce
Lee Montgomery ... David Rolf (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Dub Taylor ... Walker
Bette Davis ... Aunt Elizabeth
Joseph Riley Joseph Riley ... Ben's Father
Todd Turquand Todd Turquand ... Young Ben
Orin Cannon Orin Cannon ... Minister
Jim Myers Jim Myers ... Dr. Ross
Anthony James ... The Chauffeur
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Storyline

Ben and Marian Rolf rent a grand old country mansion as a summer getaway for themselves, their twelve year old son Davey, and Ben's Aunt Elizabeth. They feel they can't turn down the rent deal offered to them by the house's owners, siblings Roz and Arnold Allardyce, despite some reservations. First amongst those reservations, they are to take care of the house on their own, which Ben feels is too big a job, especially for Marian and the interior housekeeping. In Marian's words, the large size of the house is a "waste". And second and perhaps more important amongst those reservations, the Allardyces' aged mother will be staying in her room at the house, the Rolfs who are to provide a tray of food left outside her room three times a day, which Marian vows to take care of on her own, with no other members of the family to go into that isolated wing of the house so as not to disturb Mrs. Allardyce's peace. Upon their arrival at the house for the first day of their stay, they find a note ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The perfect summer rental for the last vacation you'll ever take. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pesadilla diabólica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis detested Oliver Reed, refering to him as "that man" and only speaking to him when they shared onscreen dialogue. After filming, she described him as "possibly one of the most loathesome human beings I have ever had the misfortune of meeting". See more »

Goofs

The Kirby vacuum that Karen Black is using on the steps, she turns it off via a switch on the handle. That series of Kirby never had a handle switch, it would have had a toe switch down by the motor. See more »

Quotes

Marian Rolf: I've been waiting for you, Ben!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well, I liked it anyway...
10 August 2006 | by jeffoneononeSee all my reviews

First of all, no, I didn't see it 30 years ago (just watched it last night in fact) so my opinion isn't tainted by nostalgia. Second of all, no, I'm not 12 years old (33, in fact). And despite those factors, I still really enjoyed Burnt Offerings and was genuinely scared by it. And considering I'm a horror buff who does not scare easily, that's saying something.

Not sure exactly why there is such a hate-on for this movie. It has its share of melodramatic acting (particularly Oliver Reed, whose British soap opera-inspired turn elicited more than a few guffaws on my part), but it had a genuinely creepy vibe that I think outweighed its flaws. People often compare it to The Shining, released four years later, and while I'm not so bold as to say that Burnt Offerings is a better film than that Stanley Kubrick classic, some of the comparable elements are actually scarier at some points. At any rate, it's a little more subtle than Jack Nicholson's somewhat over-the-top performance.


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